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If you are being contacted by a collection agency that is attempting to collect a debt you have the right to request validation of that debt. With the number of accounts that are going into collection as a result of the tough economy it is very easy for mistakes to happen. If that is the case and you believe you are being contacted about a debt that you do not owe you must exercise your rights to avoid paying a debt for which you are not responsible. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives you the right to request validation of any debt that a collection agency is attempting to collect. The process called debt verification begins when you send a written request to the collection agency requesting validation of the debt in question. The letter is called a debt verification letter. The following is a sample letter which will help you get the documentation process started. Sample Debt Verification Letter January 1, 2010 Jane Doe Main Street Anytown, USA 00000 Collection agency name Collection agency address Collection agency city, state and zip Re: Account number xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx To Whom It May Concern: I am writing this letter in response to a letter your agency sent to me on December 15, 2009. I am not sending this letter as a refusal to pay. I am disputing your claim and requesting validation of this debt pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I am requesting that your agency provide to me the evidence that I have a legal obligation to pay this debt. This evidence should include the following: proof of debt, name and address of original creditor and the original account number of the debt. I request also your license numbers as well as your Registered Agent as proof that you are licensed to collect in my state.


In addition to the aforementioned items, I request that you cease any collection activity until this information has been collected and provided to me. Collection activity includes listing this debt and information relevant to this debt on my credit report. If you are unwilling or unable to comply with this request, I will file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the state Attorney General which will result in civil and criminal claims being pursued. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter. Sincerely, Jane Doe This sample letter can be used to respond to a collection agency correspondence. You should adjust the letter to reflect your own personal information and circumstances. For example if you have been contacted by phone or noticed incorrect information reported to the credit bureaus, you would change the language to match your situation. You must send this request within 30 days of receiving notification from the collection agency. It is also recommended that you do not use your signature in the letter's closing. Instead print or type your name as some collection agencies have been known to photocopy or forge signatures onto other documents. Before mailing your letter (certified with return receipt requested) make a copy for your own records. Unless and until the debt collector provides the requested documentation, they must cease collection activities on this account.

Sal Orlando is a debt specialist for DebtFreeDestiny.Com, an online leader for credit card debt information and resources for consumers looking for debt relief help.

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